With school upon us and the holidays just around the corner, making some little tweaks to our organization in the kitchen can make a huge difference! As a mother of 5 I had to learn very quickly how to organize and more importantly keep things organized as time went on. With school starting up again and the holidays creeping up on us, it can make our lives a lot easier when things are kept organized. I have put together a simple and beautiful way to organize your kitchen, pantry, and even fridge. A lot of these ideas were inspired by AtHomeWithNikki, but I decided to put a few twists of my own.
When it comes to the kitchen, the main tip or trick I have learned over the years is to try and declutter your counter tops and leave it as empty as possible. If we keep our countertops clear of clutter, it will always look more appealing to the eye, and inviting. Now don’t get me wrong, there have been many times where my kitchen was piled high with dishes, bread crumbs on the counter, and a billion appliances left out. But I have noticed if I keep a very minimal amount of décor, appliances, or even fruit/food on the countertops, it keeps the room looking more like a kitchen and less like a storage room. I was able to find a super cute utensil holder where I keep my silverware in, so I was able to free up a drawer in my kitchen for other needs. I used to have a bowl for all of my bread, but now keep it in my old spice cabinet, and was able to find these spice holders at Ikea that fit perfectly in my drawer. It is all about rearranging to find the perfect way to declutter your counters. The more we keep up with our dishes, clean as we cook, and keep things in their places we will have a place in our house where we actually feel like walking into.
Spice Jars | Utensil Holder
The first area in my kitchen I wanted to tackle was under my sink. Under your sink is where it can start to get really unorganized, really fast. I was able to get different containers to put my sponges, dishwasher pods, steel wool scrubbers, and disposable gloves all in one place. It is nice to keep everything off my counter and tucked away. I just grabbed any old caddy to be able to remove and carry around the kitchen for all my cleaning supplies. I have learned that everyone has different tastes and preferences for organization in their home, so whatever works best for you will work just fine.
The next thing I was able to work on is my fridge. I used to have 5 kids living with me at one point, well I guess 6 if you count my husband! So food was in and out of the fridge with in just a few hours, so these tips and tricks can help your fridge stay organized whether you have the whole Brady Bunch or just you and your cats. We all know we have a billion different dressings, mayo, mustard, etc. piling up in the fridge, right? So these plastic squeeze bottles, that Nikki suggests, are to put the everyday basic dressings and sauces we use often. It is nice to have them all the same size and have an easy pour spout, plus it looks neater. I keep these in the door of the frog. Obviously I don't put all jars of condiments, etc. in bottles. Just the ones that are used most often. The squeeze bottles are all the same size so it takes up less space. I put chalkboard stickers on these for the name and expiration of the item. They are wipeable and can change as needed! On the very top shelf, I was able to put all my family’s go to drinks that we have at least once a day, or for some of us 5 times a day, in these plastic bins. They are a lot easier to grab from and make it more organized. That way you are not trying to grab that last apple juice in the back and knock everything over in the mean time. The next shelf I put a small acrylic tray for all of my vegetables I will be using for different meals that I want to use right away. I learned a while back that vegetables stay fresh longer when they are not in those plastic bags from the grocery store. This way my vegetables stay fresh longer, I remember they are there because they are in plain sight, and they are easy to grab and put back. That same shelf I bought these super cute pitchers from target to put my milk, chocolate milk, juice, and almond milk in. Who else drinks chocolate milk by the gallon? So good! I put the erasable chalk stickers on these as well. The next row I was able to put another one of the acrylic trays from target where I put all of my prep food for that nights dinner. When I wake up and have my breakfast I try my best to get all the ingredients I need for dinner that night and put them in that tray. Key word “try”. As busy as we all are, it doesn’t always happen, but it is very convenient when it does happen. I was able to buy 2 of these egg holders to have one carry just regular raw eggs and the other one to have a batch of hard boiled eggs on hand to grab for a quick snack to go or in my lunches. I can’t tell you how many times I have craved a hard boiled egg and never had one! This way I will almost always have one on hand. Love them! The small little drawer in the middle of my fridge I use for my sandwich tray. I use this tray to keep all of my sandwich ingredients on hand. This way you can quickly grab this tray and make your sandwiches for lunches or whenever the mood strikes! The bottom shelf is by far my favorite. The right side of the shelf is all of my random junk. Random things that I didn’t really have a spot for and didn’t really fit anywhere else. I try to keep that side really small so I have more room on the rest of the shelf. For the rest of the shelf I use it for leftovers. Whatever leftovers I have from that night I stick it in there. If I have not eaten the leftovers within 48 hours, I throw it away to keep that space open. It is especially nice for you moms out there who need space for lunches that are made the night before. That way they can quickly grab them in the morning and always know right where they are. I especially love this shelf for those big items you never seem to have room for, like that huge turkey for thanksgiving, that watermelon, or that tray of no-bake cookies you NEED to have ;). The last and final spot are those big drawers I use for my cut up fruits and vegetables. It is so much nicer to have them cut up in containers and ready to go when you want a quick snack on the run. I have noticed when I have them all prepared for the week, I tend to want to eat them more often, which is a plus. I actually have left the bottom two drawers empty because it is always nice to have a drawer or two empty for those items you get randomly, especially around the holidays, that you seem to just never have room for. I have learned that when I have my fridge organized and clean, it seems to free up way more space then I thought I had. Now remember, these are all suggestions and tips that have helped me and my family, you'll need to alter or tweak what you want to make it fit just right for your family’s needs.
Plastic Bins | Squeeze Bottles | Egg Containers | Chalk Labels | Juice Pitchers
Lastly, we have the pantry. Another great suggestion from Nikki was to get some cute baskets to put all of my big appliances in, like my crock pot, rice cooker, George foreman, etc. I got mine at Target. This way I was able to keep it organized in a stylish way and it allowed me to clear out some cupboard space that I needed for other things. Next, I have some pop-up containers for cereal, pasta, crackers, and things like that. I don’t know about you, but I always hated having my cereal boxes sitting on my shelves. So these super cute blue containers from Target did the trick. Since there is only 3 of us left, we were able to pick about 4 different cereals that we can switch out as we want with those erasable chalk stickers. This helps with clutter as you don’t have a bunch of boxes being stuffed in these shelves. For my cans, I simply just went to Home Depot and got some pieces of wood sized for my shelf. Super simple and easy to create a stacked effect that fits your particular needs. It is the cheapest way to create a large area to fit all your cans in. Lazy Susans are also a great idea for all of those bottles of syrup, oil, peanut butter, and other little bottles lying around everywhere in your pantry. This way it keeps all of these bottles in one area and lets you organize them into different groups. For my different drawers in the pantry, I found these great open containers to put all of my to go snacks, chips, drinks, or teas in. I know it sounds silly to put drawers in drawers, but this way it keeps it more organized and separate. I also keep a few bag clips attached to my chip drawer to have on hand when I need them. I found these Keurig containers a while back that were PERFECT! I love them. They make it so much easier to grab and keep it way more organized for me. In one corner on the very bottom I put my go to drinks we have often in these wire baskets so I don’t have the ugly cases anymore and I can quickly grab them and put them in the fridge as I need them. Plus, those baskets are my favorite! Gotta love Target! I love having my trash bags from the grocery store on hand, so I found the perfect container that nails to the wall to keep them all contained. It makes it super easy to put away the bags and also grab bags as you need them later. I had the same kitty food basket for about 15 years, so I guess it was about to time to get a new one. I had to find one that held a good amount of kitty food but was skinny enough to fit in this small space of mine, so this trash can was perfect, especially since it had a step to pop-up the lid!
I hope this gave you some ideas that you might be able to implement in your household. I know that when my kitchen is clean, organized and declutter it makes me feel so much better.